[quote style=”boxed”]Never be afraid to go after wild dreams, you can achieve so much more than you ever imagined.[/quote]
After losing her husband suddenly and arriving home on a flight from a business trip just hours before the 9/11 attacks, DuAnne Redus decided it was time to stop putting off her entrepreneurial dreams. She opened a Maui Wowi Hawaiian which offers gourmet Hawaiian coffee ground in house and fresh fruit smoothies that have no preservatives, are low in fat and always gluten-free. Currently, she operates six mobile event carts and a brick-and-mortar store just outside Austin, TX. Being in business 8 years has made her value strategic business development and the importance evaluating all factors of a deal in order grow with purpose. Her most recent success is in the mobile business arena, where she went from 4 to 6 mobile units after securing a lucrative vendor contract with the Circuit of the Americas Race Track, home of the Formula 1 Grand Pr ix and the 2014 X-Games. She was also one of the recipients of the coveted Franchisee of the Year award from the International Franchise Association, and was one of 400 franchise leaders who met with over 200 congressional offices in Washington, D.C. regarding important issues including tax certainty, healthcare reform, immigration and access to credit. Becoming an entrepreneur has completely changed her life for the better and she has shown no signs of slowing down any time soon.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, we are preparing to serve coffee and alcoholic smoothies at the COTA/Austin Amphitheater concert for major headliners including Iron Maiden, Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert and the upcoming LeMans Race—-all in September.
Where did the idea for Smooth Sips to Go, dba Maui Wowi Hawaiian, come from?
My vision was for a community gathering place serving high-quality products w/excellent service.
How do you make money?
Maui Wowi has an extremely flexible business model where I operate a store front and mobile catering cart at local events and large venues. This allows mobility allows us to work busy venues and simultaneously promote our store front. We sell both high quality Hawaiian coffees and whole beans AND the best smoothies in the world that are made with no preservatives and are always gluten free. In the store, revenues are split on an annual basis about 50/50.
What does your typical day look like?
I am in and out of the store daily. Occasionally, I will work shifts to connect directly with customers and am also very hands on in our employee training process. I also keep close watch on daily/weekly/monthly sales and am always on the hunt for opportunities for growth. This store is a huge part of me and it really represents the neighborhood “Ohana”
How do you bring ideas to life?
I focus on the idea and vision that I have for the company and fully commit to action and let the process happen. I am a firm believer in never giving up on a dream and doing everything possible to make that dream a reality.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Consumers are becoming choosy about treats for themselves and families. The healthy food trend is not slowing down, and being that Maui Wowi offers “junk-free” smoothies that are low in fat and use only natural ingredients is helpful for our growth as a mobile business.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Ironing and cleaning house for someone else. This experience made me even more determined to create opportunities for myself.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Get a tutor for the inventory side of operations! I worked in leadership and organizational development internationally for many years and definitely had to learn quickly.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Envision things the way I want them to be! Be open to learning and to everyday surprises. My process is FOCUS (on what I want) COMMIT to stay focused. Be open to how it MANIFESTS. (get out of the way).
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Because I am a visionary, I often jump over the details. In my coaching career (1992-2005) I became skilled working with those who only see detail (e.g. engineers, scientists, physicians). I found out very quickly that that attention to detail is extremely important! I had to slow down and assess opportunities and really look at the big picture. Our
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Never be afraid to go after wild dreams, you can achieve so much more than you ever imagined.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
If every person became skilled at accepting others with respect, the world could more quickly evolve. Working with young people and learning to trust them and their potential can happen in every place on the planet. If we see the world as a learning experience for unleashing inner strengths, so much more would happen organically.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I owned several dune buggies and hang-glided off the side of Pedra Bonita in Rio De Janeiro.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them
Social media is increasingly important because it can reach out and ‘touch’ a diversity of customers. Google docx for shared input and feedback is useful across time/distance. Wireless credit card processors such as Square have really allowed me to capture more sales at our many events.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I had all my executive coaching clients read Harry Potter and tell me if they saw themselves as a “muggle” or a wizard! This led to interesting conversations about self- concept and capabilities in the workplace.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laugh out loud every day—as often as I can and mostly at myself! This makes every day so much more enjoyable in life and in the work place.
Who is your hero, and why?
I truly admire individuals who stand up for truth, dignity and respect. Like the peaceful warriors of Martin Luther King. So brave in spite of the tide of current culture.
When was a time when you felt totally empowered and acted on it?
When I left my professional career in corporate America and went out on my own. I’ve been self-employed since the early ‘90s and haven’t looked back since.